George N. M.

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About George N. M.

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    Senior Member

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
  • Interests
    Blacksmthing, camping, hiking, historical reenactment

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  1. Dear Billy, Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you have to make something just because you have the raw material. Only make things that you will use to make something that you cannot make now or will make the process easier. Otherwise, you are just spending time, the only resource that you have a limited and finite amount, on something that is not worth that investment of time. If you need it and it a valuable investment of time, great. But if you don't need a left handed fruzzle die don't spend the time. The steel will wait for a project whether it is next week or in 20 years. Just make sure you take a marker or grease pencil and mark the steel with its composition so that the future you will remember easier. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand.""
  2. Dear Hans, Ring the bell for all the boys and men in all the armies and all the wars who never came home. There isn't a day I don't think of my brothers in Viet Nam who never got the chance to grow old like I did. "They will not grow old, as we who are left grow old. Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them." Peace.
  3. Dear Hans, Besides being a blacksmith I am a retired Field Artillery Lieutenant Colonel and military historian with an interest in World War I. So, I was seeing a familiar object in the photo. The large bell in the sculpture appears to be a 210 mm shell from either a German howitzer or a minenwerfer (a short barrel, mortar type weapon). I suspect that it is from a minenwerfer because it appears to be of lighter construction that a regular artillery shell which has to survive much higher pressures when fired. However, since there is no visible rotating band (the soft metal part the engages the rifling) there is a possibility in my mind that it may be something else other than an artillery shell such as the top of a pressure tank for compressed gas. In any case, nice work. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  4. In the 16th photo I see what I assume is a World War I French 75mm shell (or a German 77mm). I REALLY hope that it has been properly deactivated. These sorts of things are much commoner in Belgium and France than the US. Here, someone would probably hit the panic button, the place would be evacuated, and the local bomb squad called in. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal folk would then remove it and blow it up with C4 explosive "just to be safe." "By hammer and hand al arts do stand."
  5. Dear Pnut, Just to throw something into the discussion and which you may want to pass on to your landlady and the pastor of the church but they may have some issues with the local land use and subdivision regulations which they should check out before any transaction, even if your landlady wants to sell the church a portion of her property. I don't know the law in KY or your county but a lot of places have minimum lot sizes, e.g. 35 acres, and if a parcel being sold is less than that the seller has to go through a subdivision process. Also, if carving off a portion makes the original property less than the minimum lot size there can be a problem. Finally, the buyer (church) may have to do a "merger of title" to make their property one parcel rather than owning their current parcel plus the 2d newly acquired parcel. They should check with the local land use department before getting very far down the road or they could get wrapped around the axle pretty tightly. But, unfortunately, that does not help your situation. For many years my shop was either a rented garage or a storage unit. This meant that it was pretty much a fair weather deal because I would have my bench and anvil in the shop and would open the door and slide the forge just outside the open door when I was working. If you can find a place that has power for lights and power tools that may be an improvement from being under a tarp in the woods. Lesson learned: Make sure you know where the local property lines are and specifically, not "oh, my back lot line is down there in the draw." "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  6. LBS: Thanks. I think that it would take me some time to become dexterous with them. Because I haven't used anything like that my first impression is awkward but I'm sure that once the muscle memory was imprinted it would make more sense. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  7. Dear Littleblacksmith, OK, I'll bite. What is the purpose of the tongs with the unusually wide jaws on the right of the first photo? They seem to also have rather narrow jaws that would have a narrow bearing surface on the work. I can usually figure out the purpose for an unusual or specialized set of tongs if I study them for awhile but this pair has me stumped. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  8. Not really blacksmithing advice but I suggest that you do NOT go back to football after you are healed up. High school football does not give you a recreational skill for the rest of your life like say, tennis, swimming, or even basket ball. There are no adults doing full contact (helmets and pads) pick up football. I have known too many men in my life who had bad knees and shoulders from HS football that plagued them all their lives and restricted what they could do for their entire life. And now that we know more about the risks of brain injuries the benefit of enjoyment for 3 or 4 years of your life versus the possibility of serious, lifelong injury is an equation you should very seriously think about. If my son had wanted to play HS football that is the one sport to which I would have said no. You have already proved that you are not bullet proof, don't tempt fate a second time. In the meantime, good luck on your iron work and your rehab. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  9. Dear Rockstar, However, there is the concept of the "unintended beneficiary." The classic example is a gas was between 2 competing gas stations. They undercut each other to get market share and the unintended beneficiary is the motoring public who gets to buy cheap gas. As long as you know that this is how you are getting a benefit, as a side effect, not as an intended blessing you can game the system and come out ahead. However, as you say, you can't count on the situation lasting forever or count on any good will towards you. You are just catching the crumbs of the table and as long as you can get them, fine. But don't rely on them. Basically, this type of benefit is "found money." It's nice to have and you shouldn't turn it down but recognize it for what it is. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  10. Dear Pnut, Yes, I did know that and have seen a boar's head carried in and the carol sung at an SCA 12th Night feast. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  11. Just to throw another feast into the mix, yesterday was 12th Night which celebrates the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem. Traditionally, Christmas was a religious festival and 12th Night was to occasion for gift giving to commemorate the gifts given by the wise men. "By hammer and hand al arts do stand."
  12. Thomas, A similar sentiment is that an adventure is someone else having X XXXX XX a hard time a thousand miles away. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  13. Dear Larry, Just remember that what you are trying to do with a treadle hammer is to use something other than your arm and shoulder to provide the momentum to the hammer, leg muscles, gravity, motor, etc.. Also, you have to somehow provide the energy to reset the hammer for the next blow. For a non-motorized system that is going to be, in some way, your muscles. For example, in the present set up you have to accelerate the hammer down to strike the work but at the same time you are are putting energy into extending the springs to raise the hammer after it hits the work. This seems to me to be counter productive, particularly if you are using your arm and shoulder muscles to produce the energy. I have found with my treadle hammer, as Frosty says, that the advantage is to hit exactly in the same place every time, I do not find much advantage for moving metal over hand hammering. BTW, my shoulders and muscles are 19 years older than yours and I do have to consider how much energy I exert and where and when is the most efficient use of my strength. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  14. In the western US I have found that hot rolled "sticks" come in 20 foot lengths and cold rolled comes in 8 or 10 foot pieces. This may vary regionally and some suppliers may stock differently. $3/pound for mild steel sounds like a big box price, not a steel supplier. I'd call around to competitors. It wouldn't take much of per pound savings to justify a longer trip. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."
  15. Dear Steve, Excellent! As Slag suggests a come to Jesus cease and desist letter to the offenders will, hopefully, deter any future infringement. Make sure that it is as formal as possible and stern but not threatening. Also, anger is not the most effective emotion to convey. More in sorrow than anger is probably the ideal tone. You want to make sure that they know you mean business. Give them a date, maybe 15 days to cease using your name and to take down all internet uses of the copyrighted name. "By hammer and hand all arts do stand."